AR-News: (US) Dolphins help Navy steer clear in Gulf
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Sep 14 13:37:38 EDT 2003
[from Stars and Stripes]
Dolphins had been called upon to clear the waterways leading into Iraq,
around the port of Umm Qasr. They had been trained by the U.S. Navy to use
their natural sonar abilities to detect mines that had been planted in an
attempt to destroy British and American warships. By attaching a weighted
buoy line to the mine, divers could then safely neutralize the weapons.
The Navy will not comment on successes or failures, but it was
well-documented in April that the British ship RFA Sir Galahad had been
able to deliver vital shipments of humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people
following clearance of the waterways around the port.
The Navy denies that any harm is done to the trained dolphins. McCormick
explained that some of the dolphins he has trained had lived to 35 years
of age longer than the life expectancy in the wild.
In 40 years of working with dolphins, I have never heard of a dolphin
being killed on the job, he said.
They receive a choice diet 20 pounds of fish per day regular medical
checks, their own sleeping quarters, and they work untethered in the open
Dawn Carr, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,
argues that the animals sleeping quarters are 6-foot by 6-foot cages.
Carr also says the dolphins were trained through force and food
deprivation, and were fed dead fish that had lost vital nutrients that
wild dolphins receive from live fish. The Navy denies the dolphins live in
6-by-6 cages, and said that the animals operate in a more natural sea
water environment where they could interact with other marine life.
PETA believes that dolphins can stray or not be able to defend themselves
in foreign waters.
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